A little over a year ago, I took Jud to chic-fil-a and had a slight altercation with a 6 year old. Jud was the only kid in the play area so it was nice and peaceful. My anxiety level rises to about a 20 on a scale of 1-10 when there are 9000 kids jumping around in there and screaming at the top of their lungs. But this day was glorious. I could sit in peace while my kid played his little heart out. And then an older little girl came and interrupted my quiet, peaceful morning out with my always well-behaved kiddie. Jud was minding his own business in the “toddler” section of the playground until this very un-toddler decided to take over his space. She shoved him away from the toy he was playing with and stuck out her little booty so he couldn’t even try to take back control. Poor kid. Needs to learn to fight. So Mama Bear came out to play. The little girl’s mama was sitting right there, watching, as if it were totally appropriate for her 6 year old to be pushing my not even 2 year old away from a toy. Not just pushing. Shoving. As in, shoved my kid to the ground. So. I very kindly (because I do everything with such a kind, gentle, sweet spirit) and gently walked over. I squatted down to her level, inches from her face. And I said in the nicest tone I could muster (which if you know me, it was probably said through gritted teeth), “Please. Do. Not. Shove. My. Kid. Again. Got it?” She nodded quietly. I turned to Jud and said, “Come on Jud.” I scooped up my tear-streak faced little boy and glared at that girl’s mama as we walked out. You don’t mess with a mama’s babies. You just don’t do it. It’s like an unspoken rule of nature. It won’t be pretty if you try. Trust me. Just don’t do it. Ask Emily Maynard what happens when you mess with a Mama’s babies. It ain’t pretty.
So when I read this article about the ridiculous things that Pat Robertson said about adoption, Mama Bear came out to play again. He was talking about my kids. He was saying they were gonna grow up weird. And all of sudden, I felt like those ridiculous moms on American Idol who start screaming profanities at Simon Cowell because their kids are amazing talent and he’s obviously an idiot moron if he can’t see that. If I had come face-to-face with Pat Robertson in that moment, I would have punched him in the throat. No doubt. I know, I know. You’re all sitting there wanting to say, “What would Jesus do, Terah?” Well. I think Jesus would have punched Pat Robertson in the throat for calling His brothers and sisters weird. It’s like that unspoken sibling rule where you can talk bad about your siblings, but anyone else does and game on. Ok Ok. Jesus probably wouldn’t have punched Pat Robertson in the throat. He would have been all uber loving and gracious and made Pat Robertson feel like a big jerk for what he said all while oozing love. But that’s what He does. He’s Jesus. I digress. So I posted the article on FaceBook which then started this uber long thread of discussion that turned into some people thinking that I advocate that everyone needs to/has to adopt and you don’t have to be cautious when doing it at all and I shouldn’t judge the guy for not wanting to take on 3 adopted kids (referring to the guy that sparked Pat Robertson’s rant about adoption).
First let me say this. My anger/hurt was directed at Pat Robertson, not the guy that he was speaking about. I have no idea why that guy broke up with this girl. Maybe it had nothing to do with her kids at all. Maybe he was like Kalon and just wanted to produce offspring entirely from his own gene pool. Maybe he just hates all kids, not just adopted ones. Maybe the girl is psycho crazy and that’s why she can’t snag a guy. I don’t know. I don’t presume to know. I don’t know him and I don’t know the situation. My comments/frustration/hurt/whatever were directed entirely towards Pat Robertson and his ludicrous statements about adoption.
Moving on. I have never. I repeat never. Not even once, have I ever claimed that everyone everywhere should adopt. I have never even claimed that every Christian everywhere on the face of the planet should adopt and if they don’t, then they must not love Jesus enough. One comment on the thread stated that we’re supposed to take care of widows and homeless, too but there’s not a huge push to bring them into our homes. What makes one more Godly than the other? I really have no idea where this came from. And if that person is reading this, I’m so sorry if I or anyone else ever gave you the impression that taking care of the orphans is way more important and Godly and holy than taking care of widows and homeless and the like. I do think adoption is a beautiful, earthly picture of what our Heavenly Father did for us. He made us His children when were nothing but abused, filthy, neglected, worthless trash. He gave us His inheritance. We were bought with a price and we now have rights to His kingdom. He gave us His name and clothed us with His garments of righteousness. Does this mean that God cares about the orphans more than the widows and the homeless? Absolutely not. But God’s heart is adoption. When we, as believers, choose to make sacrifices in order to bring the unlovely into our families forever, we get a small glimpse of what God did for us.
And that brings me to my next point. Do I think that everyone everywhere should adopt? Absolutely not. I believe, just like with widows, homeless, the poor, we are called as believers to care for the orphans. But I think that looks different for each of us. God gave me a heart for adoption in high school. I knew then that I was called to grow a family through adoption. Does that mean that I think you’re a dirty sinner if you don’t adopt 500 orphans? Absolutely not. I would probably think you were crazy and wonder about the quality of care they were getting if you did adopt 500 orphans and I would never invite your family for dinner because I wouldn’t know how to cook for that many people. But we are called to care for orphans. This looks different for everyone – prayer, giving, advocacy, etc. We are called to care for the orphans, but we are also called to care for the widows, the homeless, the poor, etc. All of these ministries look different for everyone. I am in no way judging someone who is not called to adopt.
And lastly. Of course, you have to count the cost when you feel called to adoption. And if your goal is to “save” the orphan, I think you’ve missed the point of God’s command to care for the orphan and I think you will become very frustrated when they don’t respond how you think they should respond. Of course, reading all the statistics makes your heart break for orphans, but only God can save them. If your goal is to live in obedience to the Father, then there will be sacrifice. I’ve said it before, obedience comes with a price. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re unwise and you decide to adopt kids that would be detrimental to the family that God has already entrusted you with. Part of obedience is wisdom. It broke my heart to let go of the idea of the boys coming to be a part of our family. But it would have been unwise of me to put the child that God has already entrusted me with in a situation where he would most definitely have been harmed. Adoption is not a process where you throw caution to the wind. Adoption is very serious. Adoption affects many lives and they all need to be taken into consideration before diving in head first. Yes. You need to be cautious and wise in the decision to adopt. But not because kids who are adopted grow up weird because they’ve been abused and neglected and stuff. Reality check. Your biological children are at great risk of being sexually abused, too. Statistics are saying that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused – these aren’t just orphan statistics. This is why I think the Bachelor and Bachelorette need a counselor on set. ABC, if you ever read this, I’d be happy to come be show counselor – I already make treatment plans in my head for all the contestants anyway, at least I could get paid for it. Anyway. Your decision on whether or not to adopt shouldn’t be based on the fact that (unless you are adopting an infant) they were very likely abused in some way – physically, sexually, emotionally – because they might grow up weird. News flash. Any kid of mine will grow up “weird” anyway. But what’s the fun in being “normal”? Your decision should be based on obedience and wisdom. What is God leading you to do and what is most wise for your family?
I hope this cleared things up for you guys. Just one last thing – someone asked why be concerned with what Pat Robertson says. Here’s why we should be concerned, friends. Because adoption is what God did for us. If we are anti-adoption, then Jesus on the cross really doesn’t mean that much to us. If we are anti-adoption, then our inheritance in Heaven really doesn’t matter much to us.